“I am not a full time studio artist, when I work I usually do it at night, I get completely lost in the work that sometimes I just forget to sleep, stay up until the morning, change my clothes and just go to work” says Haimanot Messele, an Ethio-German artist who is also known as Haimi Art on social media like facebook.
Her work usually focuses on portraits; she says she got into doing such painting after going through a book about anatomy. “The book was fascinating, I went through it, studied it and digested it, and as it turned out, realistic portraits are my strongest suit and so that is what I focus on,” the artist says.
Haimanot discovered her passion for painting fairly recently; about five years ago. She had not gone through any formal training in the beginning but started to push forward by studying other artists work as putting in her own imagination onto the canvas.
“I do plan to study this art form in a formal school sometime in the future. It is true I discovered my talent later in life and it is something that really spoke to me. I work hard on my techniques and people have told me that now I have my own style of painting; I think it is important to have a distinct style for each artist,” she says.
Haimanot has been living and working in Munich, Germany since 1996. She has held several exhibitions during the last five years both in Germany and other countries.
“My plan is to bring my paintings here to Addis Ababa and hold an exhibition. That would be a dream come true. I am working on getting the right contacts, I have already spoken to centers such as the Goethe Institute as well as Laphto Mall. I am also working on getting sponsorships because I have large size paintings and the logistics of bringing it here is difficult,” Haimanot says. Her plan is to hold at least two exhibitions every six months, next year; if all works out.
Speaking on discovering passion, the artist says that it is never too late and people should always try to find what brings out the best in them. “You can discover it at anytime. Growing up during our generation, our parents didn’t really encourage us to pursue arts and so on. We did classes in school but that’s about it. I currently give classes to children and I love doing that because one, I love sharing my knowledge and two, the idea of igniting something in my students is something that is satisfying,” Haimanot says.